Forget-Me-Not, Forget-Me-Never, Remember The Fun We Had Together
Some say people who have passed, live on in our memories as long as we remember them. Although generations of Sweet Briar students did not know Daisy Williams, she surrounds us all, day and night. Her spirit is all around our campus. A lovely young soul that is not forgotten, but remembered.
Early on Freshman year, we are told the tales, stories, myths and mysteries of Daisy's ghost. On Founders' Day every Fall, there is an annual pilgrimage, all the way up to Boxwood Hill where at the pinnacle sits Daisy's Grave. Not just any simple headstone, oh no. At first sight, this 20 foot tall granite monument complete with Corinthian columns all around and decorative plaques adorning it, topped with a statue of "Faith" pointing to Heaven, is a bit awesome to behold. But wait, "Faith" has a finger missing. What's up with that? Was it Daisy? Then and there, on Boxwood Hill, as a Freshman, you start hearing the stories.
Allegedly in the 1970's, a group of girls visited Daisy's monument to search for an unmarked grave which has since been removed. The legend is, if you place a quarter on top of the headstone, when you return, there on the ground will be scrawled, the name of the person next to die. Apparently, one girl was so upset by this legend, she immediately ran back to her room in Grammer Dorm, as fast as she could, and locked herself inside. Her friends tried to get her to open up, knocking and banging on her door, but there was no answer. Finally, they crawled through the old transom. They found her alive, but with scratches all over her face!
Typically on the weekends, there is always one group of girls who take a trip up to Daisy's grave to scare each other. One such trip consisting of a few friends and I, produced a very eerie strip of film. In the bottom right corner of one of the photographs taken was a faint, fuzzy gray image of a person. Was this human-like photographic presence Daisy? Maybe.
Following each Freshman's Founders' Day, begin the tours of Daisy's bedroom in the Sweet Briar House. Stepping up the windy, narrow stairs, we peek around the corner to see where, as we are told, Daisy died. Scared to look too closely, scared to be in her room for too long, and afraid we may see something unknown, or that she may see and remember us as intruders, our glances are distant and quick. Therein lies Daisy's little twin bed, her dress and dolls, her child's chair and her Hope Chest. Here comes the glitch. If the stairs creak when you step on them, on the way up or down from her room, Daisy herself will pay you a visit. So, rationally speaking, if you dream of Daisy that night, are you dreaming of her, or is she visiting you in your dreams?
From then on, it never fails. Every time a book falls off of a shelf, each time you hear a noise in the night, every time something weird happens, it is Daisy. She's not forgotten. She is remembered. She's around.
One of my classmates still freaks out at the mere mention of Daisy's name. She will simultaneously burst into a spell of shrill shrieks, small screams, shivers and immediately shakes her head, quickens her pace and walks on!
Daisy follows us into the dining hall, along the green grass of the Dell and down to the "Dungeon", (a study hall in Reid Dorm basement). She also follows us as we walk down the stairs of the 100 year old library into the dark halls of the hallowed "Stacks."
Whether it be frightening Freshman or scaring each other silly, Sweet Briar students will continue to remember their founder with fondness, and a bit of fear.